How to Make Knotless Braids Last Longer and Avoid Common Problems

Knotless braids like box braids or crochet braids allow you to enjoy a low maintenance, beautiful protective style when cared for properly. However, they can come with problems like excessive frizz, slipping, or matting if not installed correctly. Follow these tips to help your knotless braids last 4-6 weeks or longer.

Choosing the Right Hair Extensions

Choosing the optimal hair extensions is one of the most important steps for achieving beautiful, long-lasting knotless braids. The texture, curl pattern, and overall quality of the hair you select will directly impact the look and longevity of your braided wigs style. Consider these top extension options when planning your next install:

Kanekalon Braiding Hair

By far the most ubiquitous and affordable choice, kanekalon fiber has remained the dominant hair type used for braids for decades. Kanekalon is a synthetic fiber designed specifically for braiding styles to emulate the properties of real hair. It's lightweight, blends seamlessly, and comes in a myriad of colors and textures perfect for knotless braids.

When shopping for kanekalon hair, you'll want to pay close attention to the specific curl pattern or wave type. Kinky-curly and loose wave textures tend to complement knotless braids best. Match the curl pattern to your own hair's natural texture for the most seamless blend. Those with tight 4C curls can opt for kinkier bulk hair like Sensationnel Afro Kinky Bulk. People with looser 3C hair can choose a soft wave like Femi Collection Deep Wave Crochet Braid. For the most natural movement, look for "yaki" kanekalon hair like Sensationnel Up Yaki Braid that incorporates contrasting textures for a more realistic look.

jumbo knotless braids

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In terms of length, choose kanekalon braiding hair between 10-24 inches long. The longer the better in most cases to allow for styling versatility. Have your stylist trim and taper the ends to customize the length and prevent thin straggly tips over time. Colors are abundant ranging from 1B natural black and dark browns to vivid bold hues like burgundy, blonde and blue. An ombre effect is also popular, transitioning from dark roots to light ends.

While inexpensive, kanekalon hair must be handled gently and maintained properly to last. Using excessive heat or over-manipulating it causes the fibers to matt and tangle. But with proper care, kanekalon offers an affordable, versatile braiding hair option.

Pre-Looped Braiding Hair

Pre-looped braids have exploded in popularity for knotless styles since they allow for faster installation. The hair comes already braided into coils or twists so your stylist doesn't have to braid each row one by one. Brands like X-Pressions, FreeTress and Model Model offer pre-looped hair in a range of curl patterns and lengths perfect for crochet braids or faux locs.

Pay close attention to the coil width - you want a small to medium size coil to complement knotless braids. Wider coils can be too bulky. Next, consider the length based on the length and thickness of your natural hair. Those with fine hair textures can size down and choose pre-looped braids 8-12 inches long to prevent excessive weight. People with very thick, longer natural hair can size up to 14-18 inch coils to help balance the fullness.

Pre-looped human hair like X-Pressions Whisper Loc Crochet provides the most natural blend, while synthetic fibers like Model Model Butter Braid Coil are very affordable. Most pre-looped hair comes pre-colored in 1B black or various colors, but custom coloring is an option too.

The convenience of pre-looped braids makes them ideal for knotless styles. Just beware of matting and tangling if over-manipulated. Gentle handling preserves the smooth coil pattern.

You may also like: Exploring the Multifaceted Benefits of Knotless Braid Wigs

boho knotless braids

Getting the Right Braid Size

In addition to selecting the optimal texture and curl pattern, choosing the right braid size is critical for balancing the look and longevity of knotless braids. Wider, heavier braids may look beautiful at first but will quickly lead to excessive weight, slipping braids, and headaches. Here are some size guidelines based on your natural hair length:

Shoulder Length or Shorter

For hair that falls above the shoulders, small to medium box braids are ideal. This keeps the overall style lightweight and easy to maintain. Aim for braiding hair that is 6-10 inches long. Brands like X-Pressions Braid and Outre Xtra work well. You can also incorporate a slightly larger braid size around the crown for some contrast. Just don't go overboard on length - 10 inches is plenty for shorter hair.

Keeping braids small and low profile as your base helps disguise new growth later on. You can also opt for a micro braid size along the edges and hairline while doing medium box braids throughout the back. This helps minimize tension around the delicate perimeter.

Collar Bone Length

For hair that extends just past the shoulders or to collar bone length, medium sized box braids are recommended. Go for braiding hair 10-12 inches long for balance. The added length helps weigh hair down while preventing excessive bulk. Brands like Sensationnel Up Yaki Braid or Femi Collection Deep Wave work great.

Again, don't go over 12 inches even if your natural hair is longer. The mid-back length braids will elongate your look. Aim to make the braids about 2 inches longer than your natural hair. Keeping the braids mid-sized helps them last longer and prevents pressure on the roots that leads to slipping.

boho knotless braids

Mid to Lower Back Length

For those blessed with longer locks falling past the mid back or to the lower back, larger jumbo box braids are the way to go. Opt for braiding hair 16-24 inches in length. Matching extremely long natural hair with appropriately sized jumbo braids helps disperse the weight evenly. Brands like X-Pressions Long Braid or Outre Wet & Wavy provide great texture and length.

Don't be afraid to ask your stylist for a mix of jumbo and medium sizes. Adding some contrast looks beautiful. Just focus the longer jumbo braids on the back where your hair is thickest. The mixed sizes help reduce overall weight while still allowing for a long, dramatic style.

No matter your length, always consult your stylist on the ideal braid size. They can assess your thickness and texture to make sure the distribution of weight is even and won't cause excessive pulling on the scalp. The right braid size is truly foundational for knotless braid success.

Getting the Right Braid Size

In addition to curl pattern, the size of braids dramatically impacts longevity. Wider, heavier braids look beautiful but quickly lead to slippage as they weigh hair down.

Shoulder Length or Shorter
Opt for small to medium box braids using braiding hair 6-10 inches long. This keeps the style lightweight. For contrast, choose a slightly larger braid size around the crown.

Collar Bone Length

Medium box braids with 10-12 inch extensions work best, resisting excess bulk while still allowing length.

Mid to Lower Back Length

Go for larger jumbo box braids using 16-24 inch hair. Longer natural hair needs larger braids balanced with longer extensions.

Ask your stylist to blend 2-3 different braid sizes throughout for visual interest.

You may also like: Box Braids vs. Knotless Braids for Fine Hair

short knotless braids

Low-Manipulation Maintenance

Once your knotless braids are freshly installed, maintaining them properly is key to longevity. The main priority? Keeping manipulation to a minimum. The less you touch, twist, pull, and style your braids, the longer they will last. Here are some low-maintenance tips:

Nightly Bonnet or Wrap

Be religious about covering braids every single night, either with a satin bonnet or hair wrap. This prevents the cotton pillowcase from causing friction that leads to frizz and loosened braids. Choose a style like The Buff by Cashmere Hair Collection that is comfortable to sleep in and stays put.

Infrequent Washing

Refrain from over-washing knotless braids! Too much moisture causes braids to unravel prematurely. Aim for 1-2 washes per week maximum. Use a sulfate-free, moisturizing braid shampoo like Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Sulfate Free Shampoo. Dilute shampoo in water first for gentle cleansing.

Daily Moisturizing

Hydrating braids daily is crucial, but look for lightweight leave-in sprays versus heavy creams or oils. A mist like African Pride Braid Sheen Spray moisturizes without buildup. Apply it each morning focusing on the length of the braids, not just the roots.

Protective Styling

Wear braids pulled back in low manipulation styles like pontails, buns or headwraps as often as possible. Constant twisting, braiding and clamping leads to tangles. The simpler you keep the styling, the better.

box braids


When installed and cared for properly, knotless braids like box braids or crochet braids allow you to enjoy a low maintenance, beautiful protective style for 4-6 weeks or longer. Being selective about the type of braiding hair, keeping tension minimal, and doing regular maintenance helps avoid common braid problems like excessive frizz, slipping, or matting. Follow these tips to keep your knotless braids looking their best for as long as possible.

uBraids is a premier braided wig brand for black women offered through the JALIZA Wig Store platform. As experts in protective styling, uBraids creates high-quality, innovative braided wigs designed to unleash your inner beauty and confidence.The uBraids collection offers braided wigs in diverse styles like knotless braids, small box braids, twist styles, and more.

We use premium human hair blends and comfortable cap constructions to craft braided wigs that are natural-looking, tangle-free, and easy to install and maintain. uBraids allows you to enjoy the beautiful look of braids without the hassle. Our wigs are crafted with meticulous attention to detail so you can achieve the perfect braided style that flatters your features. Explore the uBraids collection at JALIZA Wig Store to find your new favorite protective style.

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